Greenland (Denmark)

Greenland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, was another destination I'd wanted to visit for a long time as I enjoy Arctic territories and cultures. My trip to this part of the world was very nice exceeded all expectations.

Greenland features a distinct culture with almost 90% of residents being Inuit. The population of about 56 thousand is concentrated in a number of sparsely populated settlements located on the coasts with no road connections to each other. The territory has an area of 2.17 million sqkm and features the second largest ice sheet in the world after Antarctica (its average thickness is 1.5km).

I visited the capital of Nuuk for a few days and spent a night in Kangerlussuaq, the location of the largest commercial airport in Greenland. With a population of about 19 thousand, Nuuk is a scenic city with colorful houses located on rugged terrain, surrounded by water and iceberg fragments floating from nearby glaciers.

There were many nice sites around town. Some of my favorite spots for exploring and photography were the old town and the areas around Herrnhuthuset and Inuk Hostel.

Other interesting points of interest included the nice Nuuk Boardwalk, the statue of city founder Hans Egede, Katuaq cultural center (which serves some delicious hot chocolate), the National Museum and Archives of Greenland and Nuuk Lokalmuseum. I also enjoyed some good local beer produced by Godthab Bryghus and the local specialty Greenlandic coffee which counts whiskey, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, whipped cream and coffee as its ingredients. Absolutely delicious.

From Nuuk I used for a scenic boat trip through the Nuuk fjord system to the nearby settlement of Kapisillit (population 50-70) and the abandoned settlement of Qoornoq. Featuring fjords with impressive ancient mountains, colorful houses in the two settlements, beautiful sunny weather and the occasional icebergs floating in perfectly calm waters, this was one of the nicest boat trips I've ever been on. Both Nuuk and Kapisillit were scenic and peaceful places even though living conditions didn't look easy.

I didn't spend a lot of time in Kangerlussuaq, so I just walked around the tiny settlement a bit in real feel temperatures of around -15 degrees Celsius (and spotted a beautiful wild Arctic hare!).

I also had the opportunity to see the Northern Lights in three of my nights spent in Greenland. The light show from both Nuuk and Kangerlussuaq was very strong and nothing short of impressive. This was my second time seeing the Northern Lights after Tromso in Northern Norway some time ago.

Additional info:
- Greenland entry on Wikipedia
- Greenland profile on Wikivoyage

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